Regional Innovation Award Overview & Instructions

Program Overview

The Regional Innovation Award recognizes organizations and alliances that are committed to building strong and vibrant communities through groundbreaking collaboration and program development. These organizations are pioneers within their region, focusing their efforts on the four principles of regional stewardship: an innovative economy, livable communities, social inclusion, and a collaborative style of governance.  

This year, the Regional Innovation Award committee is specifically encouraging applications from regional initiatives that are building a better equipped workforce—preparing the region to excel in a globally competitive economy through education attainment and workforce development initiatives.

Awards Process and Criteria

The Regional Innovation Awards will be presented to either a region or organizational alliance during the awards gala at the ACCE Annual Convention.  Applicants must address all of the questions on the Application. 

Winners and Finalists for 2017 Regional Innovation Award

Each application must be submitted through our online portal and will address the following sections:

1. Program Contact and Context: Award Contact Information and a brief description of the Applicant's program.

2. Principles: Select one of the following “Principles of Regional Stewardship” on which to focus your application. Briefly describe how the applicant has made progress in this area.  [Score: None. Informational only.]

  • Innovative Economy:  An economy where people and places can compete based on speed, quality, flexibility, knowledge and networks
  • Livable Community: Attractive places to live and work that address environmental sustainability, sound land use, innovative urban design, health and community wellness, housing and infrastructure investments, and community amenities
  • Social Inclusion: Ensuring that all people and neighborhoods, particularly those that are disadvantaged, have opportunities to fully engage in regional prosperity and governance
  • Collaborative Governance: Finding creative ways to govern regionally and to address public issues that transcend jurisdictional and sectoral boundaries and align public, private and civic objectives

3. Context: What are the particular contextual challenges or issues that make achieving progress in one or more of the Principles noteworthy? [Score: 10% of application.]

4. Innovation and Excellence:  What is innovative, outstanding and/or compelling about the applicant’s efforts or approach to its mission? [Score: 35% of application.]

5. Performance:  How has the applicant demonstrated performance in one or more of the regional principles, in the following three ways? [Score: 35% of application.] 

  • Regional Capacity: Ability of the region’s citizens, leaders, organizations and institutions to effectively achieve its intent
  • Tangible Results: Actions, policies, investments that have been made to demonstrate actual progress
  • Potential for Sustainability: Commitments or strategies to sustain progress over time.

6. Cohesiveness:  How does the applicant’s work link to and enhance other regional objectives and strategies? [Score: 10% of application.]

7. Replicability:  How might the work of the applicant be replicated, inform or benefit other regions? [Score: 10% of application.]

Refer to Appendix A for a more detailed description of the Principles of Regional Stewardship; and to Appendix B for guidance in answering the questions.


The award-winner will be approved by the Regional Innovation Award Committee, upon the recommendation of a judging panel that will include Advisory Board members and other expert regional practitioners. 


As noted above, the judging panel will evaluate and score answers to the above questions, weighing each as follows:

  • Principles: informational only, not scored 
  • Context: 10%
  • Innovation and Excellence: 35%
  • Performance:  35%
  • Cohesiveness: 10%
  • Replicability: 10%

Appendix A: Principles of Regional Stewardship

Appendix B: Answer Guidelines


  • Applications will be open March-April 2018!

For more information on the Regional Innovation Award, please contact or 213-580-7503. 


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